Architectural and human evolution go hand in hand. In the past, architecture has evolved as per climatic conditions and social and cultural needs. Humans have experimented with and developed several design styles and concepts to give expression to their buildings. Thus, making architecture truly dynamic. An architectural concept can include form, construction methods, design style, philosophy, regional inspiration and much more. We have witnessed some magnificent styles and concepts like the baroque, classical, neo-classical and Bauhaus in architectural history. It would be interesting to look at how the current trends are evolving and what the future might behold for our buildings. Below is the list of some new-age architectural styles and concepts that are slowly gaining momentum in the construction industry-

Maximalism

After the 2008 financial crisis, minimalism gained popularity as a way of making a statement with less. As economies gained strength over the decade, people had more disposable income, travelled more and collected more meaningful showpieces. It became a trend to reflect one’s personality through these collections as decorative elements. Maximalism is now becoming a trend in the millennial generation that never shies away from incorporating plants, layering bold colours and patterns and showing off the latest gadgets in their living spaces. The readiness to experiment with new technology is also a contributor to this trend.

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Loft buro’s Hayloft interior combines various textures, materials, finishes and styles that attack the senses_©Andrey Avdeenko

Some artists are giving a maximalist makeover to bleak architecture through splashes of colours. This has enabled the revival of a city’s fortunes, a celebration of tradition and a colourful showcase of art against prolonged depression-inducing grey winters in a Siberian town.

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Maximalist Makeover of Siberian town_©Weurbanist

Cottagecore

The cottage core aesthetic has recently gained popularity on social media. It is a reminder of agrarian life and simpler life amidst nature. Much of its renewed recognition is a direct response to increasing capitalism and the pandemic when most of the time was spent indoors in front of digital screens. It romanticizes countryside living, gardening, farm animals and tiny huts. The interior aesthetics include flowers, wood, warm tones, floral patterns and all things simple. Embracing sustainability, wellness and the idea of social consciousness the concept has become a ‘budding aesthetic movement’.

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The Architecture of Cottagecore_ ©BoysPlayNice

The Amalgamation of Modern and Vintage Architecture

Modern and vintage architecture differ in style, materials, and construction methods. Hence, it takes high technical expertise along with some creative flair to combine these two contrasting styles and make them work cohesively. Mostly, these projects are undertaken as the addition of extensions to the old structures. It has been a topic of debate among experts whether to preserve the existing structures or to push their creative boundaries while maintaining the balance between the old and the new.

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Adding Modern Flair to Traditional Buildings_©Porteia

For example, the modern extension to the original Dresden Museum of Military in Germany by Studio Libeskind portrays the aggressive juxtaposition of cutting-edge technology and traditional structure. The new facade is open and transparent which pushes back the opaque and rigid building. This is symbolic of new Germany pushing back the atrocities conducted in the past and moving forward with a transparent democratic government.

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Dresden Museum_©Bitter Bredt Courtesy of Holzer

Arcology

The term arcology was coined by Italian architect Paolo Soleri. A combination of two words- ‘architecture’ and ‘ecology’, the purpose of this concept is to have a non-negative environmental impact. It comprises cities which are self-sustaining and are in harmony with nature. Some key features of this concept are- high-speed public transport systems using environment-friendly rail systems, solar panels for energy needs and growing food and circulating wastewater towards fertilizing plants. The Las Vegas strip is one such arcology-like project where the underground tunnels support transit and individual casinos have careful climate control and isolation from the traditional day and night features. However, it lacks any commitment to sustainability or the environment. 

Russia has also invested in an arcology project called ‘Crystal Island’ that would be an enormous spire. The project would be enveloped in breathable skin in winter to provide insulation while in summer it would be unwrapped for ventilation.

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Crystal Island Project_©Foster and Partners

Using MidJourney AI For Conceptual Architectural Renderings

Jon Henning in his article ‘How to Use MidJourney AI to Create Architecture Concept Renderings’ says that architecture has historically been a slow process from conception to realization. With the advancement of AI tools like MidJourney, it is now possible to quickly visualize complex concepts with intricate details. The tool has enabled industry experts to produce art that has informed architecture. It works by taking a series of words as prompts and produces a unique render for the concept. It is a giant leap in the discipline as it has enabled designers to look at possibilities beyond their imagination.

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Inflatable City (MidJourney AI Art)_©Ihsu Yoon

Architect Manas Bhatia has used this tool to give life to his idea of creating Utopian buildings that grow and breathe. He calls it ‘symbiotic architecture’ where a hollow Hesperian tree is filled with apartments. The enticing fantasy visuals that the tool produced are very much like adult tree houses.

Symbiotic Architecture_©Manas Bhatia

References

Henning, J., 2022. How to Use MidJourney AI to Create Architecture Concept Renderings. [Online]
Available at: https://rascoh.studio/blog/how-to-use-midjourney-architecture-renderings
[Accessed 8 November 2022].

Lyon, S., 2022. https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-maximalist-style-4685629. [Online]
Available at: https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-maximalist-style-4685629
[Accessed 8 November 2022].

Mutuli, I., 2022. Evolution Of Cottagecore Aesthetic Plus 15 Inspiring Ideas. [Online]
Available at: https://www.archute.com/cottagecore-aesthetic/
[Accessed 08 November 2022].

Myers, G., 2015. 10 Strange Architectural Concepts Of The Modern World. [Online]
Available at: https://listverse.com/2015/07/15/10-strange-architectural-concepts-of-the-modern-world/
[Accessed 07 November 2022].

Porteia, 2019. Can Traditional and Modern Architecture Coexist. [Online]
Available at: https://portella.com/blog/can-traditional-and-modern-architecture-coexist/
[Accessed 8 November 2022].

Rogers, S., 2022. Maximalist Makeovers: Transforming Architecture with Vivid Paint Jobs. [Online]
Available at: https://weburbanist.com/2019/01/23/maximalist-makeovers-transforming-architecture-with-vivid-paint-jobs/
[Accessed 8 November 2022].

Stewart, J., 2022. Architect Uses AI to Create Utopia Where Buildings Grow and Breathe. [Online]
Available at: https://mymodernmet.com/manas-bhatia-ai-concept-architecture/
[Accessed 07 November 2022].

Studio Libeskind, 2011. Dresden’s Military History Museum / Studio Libeskind. [Online]
Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/172407/dresden%25e2%2580%2599s-military-history-museum-daniel-libeskind
[Accessed 8 November 2022].

Wired, 2011. Five real-world arcologies under construction. [Online]
Available at: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/paolo-soleri-arcologies
[Accessed 8 November 2022].

WORMALD, J., 2022. How to get the most out of maximalism. [Online]
Available at: https://www.architonic.com/en/story/james-wormald-how-to-get-the-most-out-of-maximalism/20267812?utm_medium=website&utm_source=archdaily.com
[Accessed 8 November 2022].

Author

Shreya is an enthusiastic interior designer. Bringing a positive change in the society through meticulous research and design is her ultimate goal. She is always on the lookout for broadening her design perspective through experiencing and reading with a keen interest in sustainable design methods.

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